I used to deeply resent most fancy restaurants. I think delicious gourmet food is really important, but if it isn’t accessible to poor people then expensive food is just an annoying tease for most of us. I still feel this way, but there’s one thing expensive restaurants can do to make me like them – have one affordable and yummy dish that people can get. You’ll probably still make money selling it, because people order it but also a cocktail or add fries or whatever, but if I’m poor and I want a touch of fancy cuisine I can afford it.
1000 Figs does this pretty well. My friend brought me there and I was at first deeply skeptical. It just seemed too rich for my blood! We got two falafel sandwiches, an order of fries, and a side order of brussel sprouts.
All together it came to $22, which is more than I like to spend on a meal for two people. The fries were $4, which I just can’t abide. Sure, they came with really good skordalia (Greek potato-garlic sauce) which was unexpected and wildly tasty, but I’m still on the fence on whether it was worth it. The brussel sprouts were $6, were cooked to perfection, and came with a salad that was great. Still, I don’t know if it fits the parameters of our blog exactly – sure, it was really good and not super expensive, but my vague idea for this thing I’m writing is to spotlight places where you can get a good meal you can really fill up on for 7 or 8 dollars. But also we don’t have a lot of vegetarian options and our whole meal was vegetarian at this spot, so I think it’s inclusion is worthwhile.
If you’re feeling a little flush with cash, by all means splurge on the sides. They’re good. But if you’re a working stiff who’s living paycheck to paycheck, skip all the sides and go straight for the deal – that $6 falafel sandwich. Sure, its not giant, but it’s not small at all. America is full of mediocre falafel but this is multiple steps above the crap most of us are used to. They’re not over-fried, they’re spiced well, and they feel like you’re eating more than just beans. The point of falafel, I think, is for you to fill up on garbanzo beans but feel like you’re eating something much more. Like so much good food, it’s a way of taking cheap ingredients and transforming them into something that feels almost extravagant. 1000 Figs does this. They put a bunch of really good vegetables on top, its almost a ‘slaw and almost a salad. I’ve said it before but I’ll say it again – vegetables are often hard to come by here, so I really value a good serving of them when I’m eating out. Mostly I want my readers to patronize locally owned businesses that are affordable and delicious. 1000 Figs isn’t affordable overall, but has affordable options. If you are trying to mix it up (or you’re vegetarian) and you want a cheap good meal, their falafel sandwich is the way to go. Got any tips for other spots to review? Write us a comment and we’ll check them out!